It’s National Margarita Day!!!

Please join me in raising a glass on February 22nd to toast National Margarita Day.

Yes. It’s a thing  :)

Best of all – it’s a fun excuse to make (and drink) a delicious Margarita in the middle of winter.

My (current) favorite margarita recipe is below – you can skip the zesting and resting part if you are pressed for time, but the additional steps add a depth of flavor that can’t be beat!

My Perfect Margarita (Serves 4)

            • 3 Lemons
            • 3 Limes
            • 3 Oranges
            • 1 -2 oz Agave Nectar (you can substitute equal parts of Honey or 1/4 C. Sugar)
            • 1 1/2 C. Tequila
            • 1/2 C. Cointreau (or other Orange Liqueur)
            • Ice (crushed if possible)
            • 4 Margarita glasses (salted rim is optional)
      1. Wash and dry citrus fruit.
      2. Gently zest the citrus fruit into large measuring cup or other easy-pour container. (Be careful not to include too much of the bitter white pith in with the zest.)
      3. Cut all the citrus fruit in half and squeeze juice over zest (use a citrus reamer for best results).
      4. Mix in the Agave Nectar. *Do a quick taste test here, and add more sweetener if desired (or necessitated by tart fruit).
      5. Cover mixture and refrigerate until you are ready to prepare your margaritas (this can be done 1-4 hours ahead of time!)
      6. When ready, strain juice mixture through fine mesh sieve to remove pulp and zest.
      7. Add Tequila and Orange Liqueur to the strained Margarita base. *Do another quick taste test here – add more Tequila or a splash of Soda Water to adjust the flavor and strength of your Margarita. (Note that the finished cocktail will be slightly more diluted after the final steps.)
      8. Fill margarita glasses with ice.
      9. Pour 1/4 of your margarita mix into a cocktail shaker with ice, shake vigorously until well chilled, strain into prepared glass.
      10. Repeat as needed, then toast to National Margarita Day!

Cheers!

Cocktail Hour – The Paloma

I mentioned the Paloma Coctail on the Suburban Food Nerd Facebook page a while back and it seemed to strike a chord – Many of you have been searching for another option for tequila other than shots (ouch!) or the Margaritas of your halcyon days in college. Because of the interest I decided that the Paloma was perfect drink to highlight for my first Cocktail Hour post!

The Paloma is one of the most popular tequila drinks in Mexico. This may be due to the fact that it is so easy to make, or that there are so many different versions of it… either way – it is a delicious and refreshing mix of grapefruit and tequila that goes equally well with fiery salsa or creamy guacamole.

Some people make their Palomas with a grapefruit soda (like squirt), others make it with fresh juice, and there are proponents of combinations of the two. The beauty of the Paloma is that it is easy to make and that it can be adapted to any taste! We use fresh juice in the SFN house, but feel free to play with the proportions any way you like!

It should also be noted that this works well as a mocktail if you are abstaining for any reason… just skip the Tequila!

Paloma Recipe (Makes 1 Cocktail)

  • Juice from 1/2 a Grapefruit (approx 3 oz)
  • Juice from 1/2 a Lime (approx 1 oz)
  • 2 oz Tequila
  • 3 oz Soda Water
  • Grapefruit or Lime for Garnish

Directions:

  1. Squeeze juice of 1/2 a grapefruit into a measuring cup. I like to use a pink or ruby red grapefruit for this drink, but any grapefruit you can get your hands on will work.
  2. Squeeze juice ov 1/2 a lime into the measuring cup.
  3. Add Tequila. We use Silver Tequila but ANY Tequila you have on hand will work.
  4. Pour mixture into ice-filled glass (Pint Glass, Tall Collins Glass, Margarita Glass – whatever!)
  5. Fill remainder of glass with soda water
  6. Mix gently, Garnish and ENJOY!

Hints:

Rolling the citrus fruit on the counter with a little pressure before cutting and squeezing will yield more juice and release some of the citrus oils that add depth of flavor to your drink.

You can strain the juice/tequila mixture as you pour it into the glass for those who are averse to citrus pulp. 

This recipe works well for crowds too! Simply multiply the ingredients by the number of servings you want – make the citrus/tequila mixture in a pitcher and add soda water but no ice. Serve in ice-filled glasses to grateful guests.

For variation – try adding in other tropical or citrus flavors – Think Mango, Passion Fruit, Blood Orange etc.

If you are feeling fancy, rim the glass in a little sugar or salt (whichever you prefer). If you are feeling REALLY fancy – grate some grapefruit and/or lime zest into the salt or sugar you plan on rimming the glass with.

Cheers everyone!